Postal Service Has a History of Seeking Five-Day Delivery
to Cure Financial Woes
According to documents obtained by PostalMag.com, the USPS has
a history of attempts to discontinue Saturday mail service to
reduce postal costs. For example, a 1977 special study
commission recommended a discontinuance of Saturday mail service
that would have saved the Postal Service $412 million annually.
Senate Hearings (PDF)
Senate Hearings Part 2 (PDF)
House Hearings, May (PDF)
House Report (PDF)
House Hearings, April-May (PDF)
Senate Hearings, May-June (PDF)
House Hearings, March-May (PDF)
House Hearings, November (PDF)
Senate Hearings (PDF)
Five-Day Experience, by Postal Pete
Pete Countryman, Sectional Center Facility, Elizabethtown,
Kentucky, 30 yrs USPS/APWU, 6/27/2010
On the day I was born June 12, 1957:
"Postmaster General Summerfield today outlined for Congress a
series of cuts in postal service which he plans to put into
effect July 1 if his department is not given more money ... The
list, submitted at a closed meeting, was reported to include:
Elimination of Saturday mail deliveries ... (and) closing of
2,000 small fourth-class post offices."
When I was almost five years old :
Feb 19 1962
The Kennedy administration has studied the discontinuance of
Saturday mail delivery but fears any publicity might adversely
affect its proposals for raising mail raise, Postmaster General
J. Edward Day has told Congress ...
(Day) said the (post office) department estimated it could save
$100 million a year by ending Saturday mail delivery.
When I was eighteen:
Nov 24 1975
With the United States Postal Service losing more that
$250,000 an hour, Postmaster General Benjamin F. Bailar is
considering further economic moves such as discontinuing
Saturday mail deliveries .... The Postal Service ... ran up a
$1.5 billion debt as of last July.
The year I took the postal exam:
March 29 1977
"The Commission on Postal Service ... voted 5 to 2 to
recommend elimination of Saturday delivery, a step that would
save $400 million a year ... Elimination of Saturday delivery is
likely to be unpopular on Capitol Hill. Numerous legislators
denounced the idea when the service said it was being considered
a year ago."
and so it continued throughout my postal career:
Feb 7 1981
Saturday mail deliveries, Amtrak train service and urban
programs, survivors of last year's spending cuts, face a new
threat from President Reagan's budget ax, according to internal
administration documents obtained Friday ... (The documents
say), "The possible reduction of service to five-day delivery is
a symbol of the seriousness of the fiscal austerity being
imposed by reductions throughout the federal government.
December 15, 1987:
The Postal Service lost $223 million in the fiscal year that
ended Sept. 30 ... Possible major effects ... include ...
Seeking congressional permission to eliminate delivery on
Saturdays ... closing 10,000 to 12,000 small post offices,
primarily in rural areas.
October 16, 1992:
Postmaster General Marvin Runyon said Thursday that he backs
continuing Saturday deliveries but wonders whether home delivery
could be cut from six to four days a week...
His suggestion was to eliminate Tuesday and Thursday mail for
home deliveries, keeping deliveries on Monday, Wednesday, Friday
and Saturday. Business deliveries would remain six days a week.
April 9, 2001:
The U.S. Postal Service is thinking about ending Saturday
deliveries -- and shutting down post offices in rural and remote
areas, and raising the price of stamps even more ... because it
finds itself in almost exactly the position the railroads were
in after commercial jet travel became commonplace...
Something quicker came along: regularly scheduled jets. We said
we loved the railroads -- but we headed to the airports. We gave
the railroads our hearts, but not our money... This country will
feel different -- diminished -- without Saturday mail.
But the country already feels different. Fax machines, privately
owned overnight delivery services, and -- most significantly --
the huge growth in e-mail have transformed the way that we write
to each other.
December 31 , 2008:
After thirty years of service I take the early out and talk
of five day delivery resurfaces.